The following is a joint statement from the Coalition Against Hunger, Philabundance and Share Food Program on President Trump’s budget released on February 12, 2018:
The President’s FY2019 budget proposal reveals his priorities. And his priorities would devastate our nation’s most efficient and effective response to hunger – and therefore millions of Americans who need help putting food on the table. He proposes to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by more than $213 billion over the next ten years — nearly a 30 percent cut.
In addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of damaging SNAP cuts, he has introduced completely unnecessary changes to the core structure of the program. His proposed government-delivered “harvest food box” would take food purchasing decisions away from families and individuals and pull hundreds of millions of dollars from local economies. It is an ill-conceived and complicated scheme that will make SNAP far less responsive and efficient.
These changes would greatly increase demand on the charitable food network, which is already stretched thin. Severe cuts to SNAP would likely force food pantries across the region to turn people away or, at the very least, provide people with less food.
The bottom line is that SNAP works. Research has shown time and again that SNAP is a wise investment that helps support economic and food security, better health, learning, and employment. Taking away nutrition assistance will not help those who are struggling to get back on their feet.
The President’s proposed changes to SNAP are not the only attack on low-income American families in his budget. He also included deep cuts to healthcare, housing, education, training, and other investments that help not only our most vulnerable citizens, but those who temporarily fall on hard times. If even a fraction of the proposal is taken up by Congress, we are headed to a future with more hunger and homelessness and deeper inequality.